Dec 1, 2022 • 1HR 1M

Information Pollution | Dahr Jamail

Why the mainstream media fails to tell the truth

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Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.
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“How long do we keep pretending that capitalism works? How long are we going to keep pretending that there is such a thing as objectivity? How long are we going to keep pretending that we're not in a runaway climate crisis? Systems are literally collapsing – the UK is in massive crisis, the United States is in massive crisis. These countries are seen as the leaders of the western world in a lot of ways and the reality is neither country is even a democracy anymore. We're a corporatocracy at best.

“What happens in countries where there's not legitimate journalism in the mainstream is you end up with a society that's overwhelmed with information. In the United States, huge swaths of the country can't even tell truth from fiction, which is something that Hannah Arendt in Origins of Totalitarianism warned: the best subject for totalitarian rule is not someone with a certain political bias, but someone who literally just can't tell truth from fiction anymore.”


Dahr Jamail is an award-winning journalist and author, who was one of the few independent journalists to report extensively from the ground during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Dahr later became a climate reporter, tracking climate disruption around the world and collating his knowledge in the wonderful book, The End of Ice.

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Dahr joined me to discuss what’s going wrong with journalism and how to create a journalism which can respond to the climate crisis. We discuss information pollution in the mainstream media, the fallacy of objectivity, the corruption of profit-maximising goals, self-selecting biases, and how the abject failures of the mainstream media have disempowered, disengaged and confused populaces around the world—making them ripe for manipulation by populists.

Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.

© Rachel Donald